Noella Murphy



Other social media: noella_murphy

Please describe your own artistic practice. How do the arts contribute to your own wellbeing?
I would describe myself as a multi-disciplinary artist working in performance, creating clown shows, designing costumes and in the visual arts. I’m currently finishing a BFA at NSCAD and my daily practice mostly focuses on botanical works that become almost like a meditation because of the detailed stipple work I do. The arts surround me and I believe that art in all forms, being creative in all realms, is the reason I am who I am and the reason for my very well-being.

How are you connected with AHA! and AHA! projects? Which role(s) have you fulfilled?
I was with AHA! from the first symposium, from figuring out what we wanted to accomplish, to sitting on the board, to running projects. I ran programs at the hospital, community well-being groups at the library, a teen arts program for Addictions Services in Port Hawksbury, Thundertales, The Eldertree Project and Dance for Dementia in the Arts Canopy program. I was also a presenter for Thundertales at the Conference for the Arts in Ottawa.

What do you feel was the impact of the project(s) on participants?

The range of impact, and the difference of these projects was large but overall the joy and happiness of doing something fun or light outside of the daily lives of the participants exuded. Often what I saw was people who had never been given an opportunity to explore being creative discovering a new love. You could see in some the surprise of how happy a simple creative activity could make them. I also saw someone who was mostly non-verbal because of dementia sing all the words to a song with a huge smile on their face. It was incredible to see the change that these programs made in the participants.

Have you learned or ‘taken away’ anything from your work with AHA!? Please elaborate!

I’ve “taken away” so much from this, its hard to sum it up but mostly it has reminded me or enhanced my understanding in how powerful the arts can be. I was fortunate to grow up surrounded in creativity but seeing people who hadn’t had that opportunity get to experience the joy in it for maybe the first time was incredible.